Vickie Stringer: The Queen of Hip-Hop Lit
While her business card officially lists her as “Author/CEO,” Vickie Stringer has earned many other titles, both formal and informal, in the book publishing world—from founder of Columbus, Ohio-based Triple Crown Publications and Queen of Hip-Hop Literature to literary agent and marketing guru. Her publishing odyssey began in an unlikely setting: in a federal prison, while serving a seven-year sentence for drug trafficking. It was there that Stringer wrote her first novel, a semi-autobiographical account about a young, female hustler, called “Let That Be the Reason.” Once she was released from prison, she began to shop her manuscript to a variety of publishers. She was met with rejection from all 26 of them. With money she borrowed from family and friends, Stringer self-published 2,500 copies of her book and took to the streets to hustle once more––this time pushing her words instead of drugs. Her persistence paid off when the book caught the attention of Brooklyn-based UpStream Publications, which made Stringer a $50,000 offer to publish it.